How to change a rear road bike tyre

Updated November 21, 2016

Narrow and light, road bike tires can be vulnerable to debris lying along the road. Between the two tyres, the rear road bike tire will prove the more difficult to change. Unlike the front wheel, the rear wheel must be separated from the drive chain, which requires a few extra steps. Changing your tyre before its tread becomes worn ensures increased traction and protection from punctures.

Wheel removal

Use the rear gear shifter on the handlebar to shift the drive chain to the outermost rear sprocket.

Press the tip of the tyre valve to release all air from the rear tyre.

Open the axle skewer quick-release lever, located on the left, non-drive side of the wheel. Hold the skewer in place and loosen the axle nut on the opposite end of the skewer.

Lift the rear of the bike with one hand. Place your other hand on the top of the wheel and push the wheel forward to dislodge it from the frame and drive chain.

Remove the rear wheel fully from the bicycle frame.

Tyre removal

Insert the flat end of a tyre lever beneath the tyre bead opposite the valve stem. The tyire bead is the portion of the tyre that attaches to the rim. Attach the opposite, hooked end of the tyre lever to the closest spoke.

Insert the flat end of a second tyre lever beneath the bead to either side of the first lever. Once again attach the hooked end to the closest spoke.

Insert the flat end of the third and final tyre lever beneath the tyre bead to the right of the first two levers. Do not attach the hooked end. Instead rotate the lever around the circumference of the tyre bead, freeing the bead from the rim. The other two levers will drop away from the wheel.

Grasp the inner tube opposite the valve stem and remove the inner tube from the tyre. The valve stem will be the last portion of the inner tube removed from the wheel. Simply pull it from its hole in the rim.

Separate the remainder of the tyre from the rim

Tyre change

Fit the inner tube inside the new tyre. Align the inner tube stem so that it's directly beneath the coloured label on the side of the tyre. This coloured label will be found on just one side of the tyre.

Lift the tyre and inner tube and turn the assembly so that the coloured tyire label is on the right, drive side of the wheel.

Insert the inner tube valve stem through the hole in the rim of the wheel. Use the tips of your fingers to work one side of the tyre onto the rim.

Use your thumbs to work the other side of the tyre onto the rim. For extra leverage, place the wheel against your hip and push the tyre bead in place.

Install the wheel back onto the bicycle so that the chain rides over and around the outermost cog on the side of the wheel. Tighten the axle skewer nut with your fingers and close the quick-release on the other end.

Things You'll Need

  • Tyre levers (set of three)
  • Replacement tyre
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author